Auckland-based SSC deputy commissioner on the way

Appointment not a signal that public service departments will be moving to Auckland.

Lewis Holden has been appointed to the newly created role of State Services Commission deputy commissioner, Auckland.

Mr Holden, the chief executive of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, takes up the position on May 11. He will work from the Auckland Policy Office run by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

“This is a first step to the state services engaging more effectively with Aucklanders to better understand what they need from us and how they need us to deliver it,” state services commissioner Iain Rennie said in a statement

“Auckland is the social and economic centre of a rapidly changing New Zealand and we need the state services to be thinking, organising and operating differently if we are to play a part in realising the potential of what is now one of the world’s most diverse cultural cities.”

However, the move is not a signal that public service departments will be moving to Auckland, Mr Rennie said.

Instead, “It is about a public service system that is better designed to understand the people and the places it serves and is able to respond more effectively in those places.

“The Christchurch earthquake experience has taught us a lot about the importance of understanding deeply the needs of New Zealanders in a place and engaging them in meeting those needs,” Mr Rennie said.